Studies are finding that African Americans are more likely to be on medication to help them sleep and are more likely to sleep fewer hours and suffer from higher levels of sleep disruption than other ethnic groups.
One study in particular looked at the sleep quality of African Americans, Asians, Hispanics and whites. On average, African Americans only managed six hours and 14 minutes of sleep on a weekday - the lowest out of all the ethnic groups.
Interestingly, African Americans tend to report that they need less sleep compared to individuals from other ethnic groups. Unfortunately, it's unclear whether this perceived reduction in required sleep duration is down to physiological differences or if it's simply a case of adapting and getting used to sleeping fewer hours each night.
The danger here is that by tolerating sleep deprivation, African Americans may be less likely to report sleep disruption to healthcare providers and may even fail to recognize the symptoms completely.
Source: The St. Louis American
Last updated: March 8, 2012